Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Part 1 Review

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars!

The New Mutants #15 – Scaredy Cat!
The New Mutants #16 – Away Game!
The New Mutants #17 – Getaway!

Well this particular story takes place right after the X-Men vanish. Kitty is being held captive by Emma Frost – who has woken up from her coma with no real explanation as to why, and Doug is now at Emma’s Massachusetts Academy and being telepathically controlled by Emma.  Wet get several new characters thanks to Emma’s own team of teenaged mutants The Hellions: Catseye, Empath, Jetstream, Roulette, Tarot and Thunderbird (II) – who is really James Proudstar who has joined Emma’s team to take down the X-Men and Charles Xavier whom he blames for his older brother’s death. Some of the team’s powers act as direct opposition to the New Mutants- Catseye can switch from cat form to human, but she performs her feline form, so she’s their version of Rahne. Jetstream’s abilities are similar to Cannonball’s only Sam is stronger, but Jeatstream has better control over his abilities. Thunderbird is the powerhouse, much like Sunspot is for the New Mutants. Tarot who can create psychic visions based off of her tarot cards is Dani’s counterpart. Empath and Roulette are kind of just extras, and since Emma didn’t know about Amara or Illyana she never recruited counterparts for them. The plot revolves around the New Mutants (which now includes Magik) going after Kitty and Doug to rescue them from Emma Frost once Illyana spies on the Massachusetts Academy while in her astral form and sees what is really going on. There are some interesting things here: Illyana’s ability to use astral projection (so far only a few characters could do this, and with the exception of Magneto they all had telepathic powers,) Dani’s growing ease with using her powers yet they’re taking a toll on her soul – it would be really nice to do some bonding with Illyana and Dani, I always wished the two of them were closer and this would have been the perfect opportunity to do it. I really love Tarot’s powers and I wish she would have had a more visible role over the years. There are a few things though that I wished they cleared up, or explained. Illyana wants to keep her sorceress side hidden from everyone, then maybe she shouldn’t have chosen the codename Magik (the secrets out now though), another odd thing was the fact that Kitty could see Illyana’s astral form, yet Kitty has no psionic powers. How did Emma wake up? Why did she want Doug so badly, when even Charles Xavier didn’t consider him ‘worth’ recruiting? Why did Emma go through all this trouble of taking Doug just to let him go? Why does the team have such a hard time even being in the same room as Magik because they’re afraid of her and what she is and can do, yet the team watched Roberto kill Selene and bury her in her temple? The plot was good, it got us some good new characters and it will provide future material for people to pull from – but there were a lot of unanswered questions that created too many loose ends. One thing I’m really excited for though is to see where they’re going with the whole Demon Bear. It was rather surprising to see him suddenly appear in front of Dani and tell her that he’s coming to claim her soon.

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1 – War Begins
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #2 – Prisoners of War!
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #3 – Tempest Without, Crisis Within!

Okay let me get one thing out of the way first: this is a huge massive event that was created back in the 80s in order for Kenner Toys to have a publishing event to help promote the sale of their Marvel properties toys. That being said, the cast is HUGE: Captain America, Captain Marvel II (not the original guy, but a new lady taking the name), Hawkeye, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Thro, Wasp, Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine, Lockeed, The Hulk, Spider-Man, Magneto, Dr. Doom, Dr. Octopus, Enchantress, Galactus, Kang, Lizard, Molecule Man, Ultron, Absorbing Man, Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, and Wrecker. That being said we get (so far) three new characters introduced: The Beyonder, Titania and Volcana. All this and I’m only on issue three. It turns out that The Beyonder has been responsible for the recent disappearances on Earth and he has also been the one who was behind the psychic probing of various characters over recent months. There’s a lot going on here which at times makes the series a bit hard to follow, but I don’t know if it would be easier if I was up to date on the books of the non X-characters. I’m going to try to be more objective about this story until I read all of it. I mean the storyline is pretty popular, but at the same time it was created just to sell toys so it’s either going to be awesome or awful.

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4 – Situation: Hopeless!
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5 – The Battle of Four Armies!
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 – A Little Death…

As the first half of this story closes out we get two apparent deaths – Doom kills Kang for questioning his orders and in the process of trying to bring Lizard back into the villain’s fold it appears that the Wasp was killed trying to save him. We get the introduction of new characters in the form of Spider-Woman II aka Julia Carpenter – but it’s just a cameo, and we meet Zsaji – a healer who fixes Johnny’s broken arm, heals up Spider-Man and saves Colossus. I did find it a little odd that Johnny and Peter have apparently fallen in love with her after she healed them. It’s not odd, but it would make more sense if Spider-Man was also affected by this weird love obsession – especially if it is caused by Zsaji’s healing abilities. Speaking of odd, Piotr’s love for Kitty comes off a little like he’s obsessed with her. It definitely amps up the creepy factor that was always there because of their age differences. We also get the resurrection of Klaw (who had been killed by Dazzler) – honestly I don’t mind this one at all. I know that over the years quite a few of the X-Men have had to kill people but still. I mean out of all the ‘active’ mutants pretty much the only ones who hasn’t killed someone are Sam and Rahne. I do find it a little odd that Charles is so upset that he manipulated Spider-Man’s mind only because over the years he has done that to quite a few people. His guilt over it starts to ring a little hollow when he keeps doing it. So the story has really picked up: why does the Thing keep changing from human to ‘thing,’ is Wasp really dead, is Kang really dead, who is in the shadows watching everyone, is Galactus really about to eat the planet?

The New Mutants #15 – Scaredy Cat!: A
The New Mutants #16 – Away Game!: A
The New Mutants #17 – Getaway!: A
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1 – War Begins: C
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #2 – Prisoners of War!: B
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #3 – Tempest Without, Crisis Within!: B
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4 – Situation: Hopeless!: A
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5 – The Battle of Four Armies!: B
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 – A Little Death…: A

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